The "Special Actions and Export Options" utility provides you with
three features to improve your ToolBook HTML export experience:
validation of Actions, to ensure your action sequences will export
properly. Click here for the
Actions Deep Validation feature.
your export, as you export, so it works well with changes made to
Internet Explorer in response to the EOLAS patent. Click
here for the Fix Eolas -
Click to activate... feature
the color palettes of GIFs created during the export process, so they
better reflect what you see in native ToolBook. Click
here for the Exported GIF
Palette Optimizer feature.
The Actions Deep Validation Tool replaces the built-in "Validate
Actions" dialog. It looks and functions in exactly the same way, except
that it has an additional option - "Perform Deep Validation"
(see image below). If this
option is selected (and it will be, by default) then an extra step is
performed during validation - looking inside each expression in your
actions to ensure THEY are also valid. If the option is not selected, the
validation occurs exactly as it used to.
Why Do I Need the Actions Deep Validation Tool?
we've already seen, the Validate Actions functionality built into
only does half the job.
aren't able to export
their books because of errors that aren't detected by the standard Validate
The Actions Deep
Validation Tool finds those errors
so you can correct them
before you export.
How Does the Actions Deep Validation Tool Work During
In a word... Transparently. The Validate Actions dialog looks and
functions in exactly the same way as you're already used to. The only
difference is the addition of a new option that lets you turn "deep
validation" on and off (why would you ever want to turn it off? If you
have a very large book, you may not want to perform a deep validation
every time you validate Actions in the book. Looking inside expressions in
every Action in the book slows down the validation processes).
Even better, if the Perform Deep Validation option is turned on, then deep
validation will occur on every Action you select in the Actions Editor. When
you select an Action in the Actions Editor, the status bar displays
Action OK if the Action is valid. Otherwise it displays an error message
indicating what is wrong with the Action. Normally, even here, ToolBook
doesn't look inside expressions in your Action. But with the Deep Validation
Tool installed and active, it does! Useful error messages will display in
the status bar when there are errors within expressions in the Action.
Actions Deep Validation Tool Features
for ToolBook Instructor 8.9 (2004).
use, as you simply continue using the existing interface and it works
behind the scenes.
EVERY type of Action available in the Actions Editor
errors in Actions that ToolBook by itself doesn't
Extremely easy to Install and use.
Guaranteed to work!
Frequently Asked Questions
If an invalid Action in your book causes an error during export, and the
Actions Deep Validation Tool doesn't detect the Action as invalid, then
send me your book (if you are able to) or just the page that contains
the invalid Action (if you track it down that far) and I will update the
tool to detect that error (if it's at all possible), and send you the
updated tool for free.
Just when you thought it was safe to pick up the tech support phone...
Ouch :-( Microsoft, having lost a patent dispute with Eolas, has
modified launching ActiveX controls through Internet Explorer to require
a click for embedded content such as Flash, or Media like vector
graphics. Big deal...what does this mean to you???
Here is what it means...if your exported ToolBook project requires
ActiveX controls such as Flash or Windows Media Player, when your users mouse over the item in
Internet Explorer they will get this tool tip message:
"Click to activate and use this control".
"Press ok to continue loading the content of this page".
Damn, that's annoying - your user is thinking!
So, what is going on anyway? Basically, Microsoft lost a patent dispute
with Eolas (a software company), regarding embedding media in webpages.
So, the way that ActiveX Controls used to be processed by Internet
Explorer no longer can work the way that they did. When you or your end
users update their computers with the latest MS updates, this change
will be updated on your computer and your end users will be required to
click for any interaction with embedded media. Wow! We are supposed to
be encouraging our users to take our training - not discouraging them
So...What can you do?
One alternative is to disable this feature by applying the Compatibility
Patch for Internet Explorer for Windows XP Service Pack 2. This patch
reverts the IE Active X update behaviour contained in the April 2006
How Does the Fix Eolas Work During
Turn on the fix Eolas from the
"Special Actions and Export Options" dialog available from the tools
Then select "Update Web Export
for EOLAS changes in Internet Explorer". From then on, it's working
silently in the background, when your export is finished and before the
preview dialog your exported files will be updated, including the
manifest file used by your LMS.
Fix Eolas Features
Automatically updates all HTML
pages in your ie5 export folder.
No need to remember run another process after the export
Automatically updates the manifest file required by your LMS.
The Problem: Sometimes when
you export your book to HTML, your attractive graphics look terrible.
For bitmaps and draw objects, the colors are sometimes completely wrong.
This is because whenever ToolBook exports an object that requires
chromakey to be turned on (a bitmap with chromakey turned on, or when
ToolBook exports a draw object as a graphic - the default behavior),
ToolBook exports it as a 256 color GIF. ToolBook has to construct a
palette to apply to that GIF, and it just uses the current book's
palette, or a standard Windows palette if the book doesn't have a
palette already defined. It makes no attempt to create an palette
optimized for your graphic.
Consider the following scenarios:
You create a cool effect with
a tiled checkerboard background backdrop:
When you export, you get the result you're probably expecting, but not
But all is well of you export with the option to fix the palette of GIFs
You use ToolBook draw objects
such as ellipses and polygons to add effects to your book. When you
export them, the colors are completely wrong. In ToolBook, it might look
something like this (this is just a bunch of irregular polygons shaped
When exported, all your hard work is wasted:
Turn on the option to fix the palette of GIFs created during Web Export,
and you can breathe a sigh of relief:
You have a 24-bit image that
uses chromakey for transparency effects. In ToolBook, it would look
something like this:
When you export your book, all subtlety of shading is lost:
Turn on the option to fix the palette of GIFs created during Web Export,
and see the difference:
A note on cel animations: If you use ToolBook's Path Animation feature to create cel animations, the palette optimizer
does create optimize palettes of the images used in the cel animation at export time.
However, during the AXF to DHTML stage, these images are combined into a single large image, and a hard coded palette is applied. As this occurs in Java code, there is no way for the palette optimizer to intercept and create an image with an optimized palette.
Why do I need the Exported GIF Palette Optimizer?
If you've ever encountered
problems with the colors of graphics and draw objects after you've
exported your ToolBook book's to HTML, then you already know the answer!
How Does the Exported GIF
Palette Optimizer Work During Development?
Turn on the Exported GIF Palette Optimizer from the "Special Actions and
Export Options" dialog available from the tools menu.
The select "Fix color palette of GIFs created during Web Export", when
you do this the first time you will see:
From then on, it's
working silently in the background, as you export, ensuring that all
images exported as GIFs during the HTML export process are created with
an optimal palette.
Please note that this new
functionality is achieved via a special DLL I had commissioned and is
installed in your ToolBook runtime folder. The DLL - OptimizePalette.dll
is not redistributable - thank you.
Exported GIF Palette Optimizer Features
Available for ToolBook
Set and forget - works
behind the scenes as you export
Determines the optimal
palette to use in every scenario where ToolBook would normally just fall
back on a default palette
The Special Actions Export Options Tool is currently available for
ToolBook 2004 (including SP1, SP2 and SP3). It may be released for
earlier versions of ToolBook if there is sufficient demand.
Actions Export Options Tool™ Price
Developer License. Quantity Discounts